Why is the Demon Slayer so popular in Japan?

demon slayer Pop Culture

What is the Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer is a manga that was published in a Japanese manga magazine called Weekly Shonen Jump from 2016 to 2020. It was popular from its inception, but not to the point of becoming a social phenomenon; its popularity was sparked by the airing of an anime on television in April 2019. The anime was adapted by the animation production company ufotable and is very complete and represents the world of the original work beautifully.

Synopsis of the story

Set in Japan during the Taisho era (1912-1926), the story unfolds about demons who eat people and the humans who fight against them. The protagonist, Tanjiro, has his family killed by demons and his sister, Nezuko, turned into one.In order to avenge his family’s death and to return Nezuko to human form, Tanjiro fights against the demons.

Reasons for its popularity

The easy to understand setting of the conflict between demons and humans

I think one of the points of the story is that the structure of conflict between friend and foe is clear, and the main character’s reason for fighting is something that everyone can relate to, such as revenge for the death of his family or to save his sister.

Each character is carefully drawn

A number of unique characters appear on both sides of the fence. Each character is carefully portrayed as having his or her own life story. It shows that not only the people on our side, but also our enemies, the demons, have their own life stories. Despite the clear identification of allies and foes, the story is not good and bad, and there is a sense of tenderness and sadness throughout the story.

Expresses transience, kindness, strength, and beauty.

The protagonist does not win and gain anything, but fights and loses friends. Even after slaying the demon, the protagonist’s compassion and kindness to the demon are shown. There is no satisfaction there, only sadness. It shows the protagonist’s loss of his family and yet his strength to fight. The story emphasizes the contrast between the altruistic humans and the selfish demons. The appeal of the story is the transience, gentleness, strength, and beauty of humans who live for their beliefs. The anime version is more than capable of bringing out the beauty of these appeals, partly due to the beauty of the drawings.


For the above reasons, I feel that it has been accepted by all generations, from children to adults. In fact, it is not suitable for small children because of the often brutal depictions of bloodshed and other cruelty, but the friendly character designs are popular among small children because of the many related goods available.


Accomplishments in the movie version

Demon Slayer the movie (Mugen Train) was released on October 16, 2020. In the first ten days of its release, the film grossed 10,754,423,550 yen and drew 7,983,442 viewers, a record in Japan. This was partly due to the fact that few rival films were released due to the corona crisis and the screening schedule was tighter than ever before, but it was still an unbelievable turnout. The momentum is still going strong, with 17,505,285 viewers and box office receipts of 23,349,290,050 yen in the first 31 days after its release. At the time of writing, “Spirited Away” (2001: Studio Ghibli), which earned 30.8 billion yen at the box office in Japan, is the highest-grossing film of all time, but it is only a matter of time before Demon Slayer the movie (Mugen Train) breaks the record.

About the future

Demon Slayer (Mugen Train) beginning to be released overseas, and the NETFLIX distribution of the anime version has already begun, it will be interesting to see if it will be popular worldwide. The original manga has already been completed, and the last volume, volume 23, has just been released. The anime version depicts the first seven volumes of the series. The movie version of the Mugenretsu version depicts the contents of the seventh volume, and the contents of the eighth to twenty-three volumes are expected to be made into an anime or movie in the future. The popularity of Onibanshu will likely continue for some time to come.



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